Who owns the key system? The end-user or the manufacturer? A key system that is owned by the manufacturer could severely limit what can and cannot be done with the key system. Such limitations could include:

  • How and when the system is deployed
  • Create a situation where additional key bittings for future expansion must be purchased from the manufacturer
  • Not having access to the COMPLETE (all possible bittings/combinations) set of key records (being held hostage by the manufacturer for new bittings, or copies of existing bittings.

It is also important to know what the ordering procedures are for cylinders, cut keys, and key blanks. Ensure that these key system elements (cylinders, cut keys, and key blanks) require an authorized individual (designed by the end user) to order. It is also good to know what levels, or what types, of authorization methods exist to order materials. The most secure authorization method is an original letter, on letterhead, that is signed and notarized by an approved and listed individual.

Language to use in key system specification:
The key system established for this project shall be proprietary and owned by the end user. The end user will have complete access to the key records for the system. The end user will furnish the manufacturer a list of those persons and their signatures that will be authorized and required to order additional pinned materials or duplicate keys. Orders not bearing authorized signatures will not be filled.